Wall-sized E-Ink Electronic Newspaper

Toppan Printing Co. will exhibit a large-scale wall-sized newspaper utilizing E Ink Electronic Paper technology at EXPO 2005, which starts March 25 in Aichi, Japan. This wall-sized newspaper application is called “Yomiuri Global Newspaper – Electronic Paper”, the news will be updated twice a day. The installation consists of 272 individual tiles, a combination of an E Ink frontplane laminated onto a printed circuit board with pixel electrodes. The resulting size is is 2.2 meters by 2.6 meters. The layout is similar to an actual newspaper, the headlines and article text are displayed on monochrome Electronic Paper tiles and color photos are displayed on an LCD monitor.
-- press release, via Psysics Org

E Ink: Digital POP Display
E Ink: Digital Billboards
Ink: Digital Price Tags (also by Toppan)

Decomposing Celluloid

Boing Boing posts this picture of a sign at an unnamed photoprocessing counter:

Future: The End of CD
The End Of Analog Audio Reels
Who's Killing Whom

Hokey Spokes and Spinvertising

Hokey Spokes are transparent "blades" that attach to your bicycle spokes. As these blades spin during riding, a computer inside the blades modulates the internal LED lights so that design images and custom text appear. It work's just like the "wag the ad" device and the advertising fan. Now you can make good use of all this space on rickshaw and taxi wheels.
-- found through i4u

PaperClick, FCB Tie Barcodes and Cellphones

"Foote Cone & Belding has struck a deal to weave barcodes and other product codes into its clients' mobile campaigns in the U.S. and overseas. The agency plans to integrate mobile marketing programs with physical media and product packaging through a platform developed by PaperClick. The PaperClick platform lets mobile users click through to a site by using their handset to capture a barcode. The technology, which requires the installation of software on a handset, is compatible with UPC, ISBN and other product codes. Product codes can either be photographed with a camera phone or entered manually by the user." Here's how it works.
-- ClickZ.com

SoundAds: Print and Sound
Feedback to Print Ads Through Camera Phones

Reinventing TV

"There are an estimated 31 million hours of original television content produced each year. In addition, 115m digital video tapes are sold each year for personal camcorders. The average American household now gets 100 channels of TV. While that sounds like a lot--it's 876,000 hours of video broadcast to the average home each year--that's still less than 3% of the commercial video that's produced for broadcast." What a waste, says Chris Anderson.

Gallery Of Fading Ads

This surprising gallery of fading advertising murals by Frank Jump sheds a different, philosophical light on our business.
-- found via Towleroad, which has pictures of a very tall billboard hanging from Manhattan's Flatiron building.

Tombstones as Media

Boing Boing runs an entry on translucent glass tombstones by Lundgren Monuments. This somehow brought back fond memories of a game company planning to place ads on gravestones in Britain a couple of years ago. Also, one volunteer organization called Dragon Heads Productions raises money by offering patrons to adopt a tombstone on a California cemetery. They write: "For a donation of $20 you may write a epitaph and we will build your tombstone and display it in our cemetery. We will take a photo of your stone and send it to you as a Thank You! We will also be putting a special page up with all the tombstones."

TiVo Tests Banners, Plans Interactive Format

"TiVo confirmed that it released the first in a series of advertising features to a random and limited number of subscribers to the digital-video recorder service. The first test feature--a tag--pops up on the screen when a viewer is fast-forwarding through an advertisement."
-- ZDnet.com, screenshot from BetaNews

"TiVo also plans to unveil a new feature this fall that will bring Web-like, interactive advertisements to TV. Known as Video-to-Video, the idea is to let viewers click a button on their remote control to immediately watch a 3-minute video describing products and services that might appeal to them. The marketing clips are promoted through small icons that appear on the TV screen as viewers fast-forward past regular ads."
-- ZDnet.com

Future: Networked DVR

"A report issued last week by Magna Global predicts that if network DVRs become a reality, DVR usage could skyrocket. Unlike set-top DVRs, which are already offered by several cable operators, a network DVR records virtually all programming on a central server in the cable system’s “headend.”

Theoretically, anybody who subscribes to digital cable could record whatever they wanted, without having to schedule an appointment with the cable guy or install a TiVo box.

According to Magna, network DVRs, if deployed this year, “would immediately make time-shifting technology available to 40 [percent] to 50 percent of a cable operator’s subscribers...significantly impacting how video content is consumed.” Magna Global’s director of industry analysis, Brian Wieser, who authored the report, said, “The possibility could be here a lot sooner than people think.”
-- Media Week via Lost Remote

SoundAds: Print and Sound

This is much easier than it sounds. See a print ad you like, then dial the number you see on your mobile phone to listen to a corresponding sountrack. More of those ads here. Designed by Artmiks. More info at Blogfonk.
-- via AdRag

Sound Inserts in Print Ads
Feedback to Print Ads Through Camera Phones

More Stereoscopic Ads: ImagePro 3D

We Make Money Not Art writes: "Barcelona-based company TheSpecialThing has developed 3D animated advertising that floats in the air. No need to get a pair of those special eyeglasses. The trapezoid Imagepro3D black box contains an optical system and a patented software, both linked to a digital display that projects the images." The company's site is in Spanish and says nothing about how the technology works.

3d Advertising: Heliodisplay
Future: Volumetric 3D Display
Stereoscopic Advertising, Part II
Stereoscopic Advertising, Part I

TV Could Get Trillion Colors

"The RGB (red, green, blue) so familiar to TV engineers is being mixed by Genoa Color Technologies with the CMY (cyan, magenta and yellow) coded into the DNA of print types to create a new TV monitor capable of displaying 1 trillion colors (rather than today's paltry 16 million-plus)."
-- Broadcasting & Cable via Lost Remote

Advertising on Monorail in Vegas

"In Las Vegas, a new form of branding has taken over the monorail system that moves millions of tourists and conventioneers up and down the strip. A single advertiser takes over a train car or station, plastering their brand on the walls, ceilings, floors and seats, broadcasting their message from video screens and pampering their customers with perks like concierge service and samples."
-- Media Life Magazine

Futurecast: Star in The Film You're About To See

A Times correspondent went to Aichi Expo 2005 and dropped in for a movie at the Mitsui-Toshiba Futurecast Pavilion. He writes:
"Queueing outside what appears to be an ordinary cinema, members of the audience are invited to place their faces into a hole in the wall for a few seconds. High-resolution digital cameras perform a quick scan from several angles, and everyone takes their seats. The animated film, with the quality of Shrek or Toy Story, begins as normal but the entire cast is made up of walking, talking digital replicas of people in the audience."
-- via Unmediated

NY Times: The Future of TV Advertising

The New York Times runs today a long article on the future of the 30 seconds spot. Nothing new, really. It says that TV ads will be more targeted, relevant and perhaps interactive. Quote:

"The television commercial - a blunt instrument that often reaches as many disinterested people as desired ones - is beginning to behave like a smarter version of direct mail. Ads can be customized, not just by neighborhood, but ultimately by household and perhaps by viewing habits."

One interesting piece of data, though: "43 million Americans time-shift, using either their VCR's or the digital video recorders." While we are at it, Engadget writes that it seems TiVo has started putting banners on the screen when you press the fast-forward button. And gives a link to the hack that turns on the 30-sec skipping. Here: "The 30 second skip code sequence is S (select) P (Play) S (Select) 3 0 S (Select)."

Virtual Panoramic Showrooms

"Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Telecommunications HHI in Berlin have expanded on a system that can display real environments as high-resolution 360-degree panoramas rather than simply on two-dimensional monitors. Videos, moving or stationary objects, and sound can be embedded in the display."
-- PhysOrg.com

360-degree DynaScan Display

Immersive Videoconference

"The Heinrich-Hertz-Institute has developed the prototype of an immersive 3D videoconference system. The locale conference table will be seamlessly integrated in a virtual conference scene including other remote participants represented on a large display and under correct perspective. The natural and life sized 3D representation of the virtual scene and the remote participants mediates the impression of a real face-to-face meeting. For the first time, it will be possible to communicate with geographically distributed participants in a virtual conference room without any difference to real meetings. This system will increase the usability and acceptance of future videoconference systems substantially."
-- more

Siemens Shows Off Phone With Projector

"Siemens researchers have developed a cell phone featuring a built-in projector system. A laboratory model was presented at CeBIT 2005 in Hanover. The system makes it possible to project a complete keypad or display onto a surface. With a special pen, users can write on the virtual keypad and operate the phone’s functions."

Future: Virtual (Not Only) Keyboard

Concept: Interactive Books

Magic Books is one of the older projects at New Zealand's Human Interface Technology Lab. "When users look at the pages of a real book through a hand held display they can see virtual content superimposed over the real pages. When they see an Augmented Reality (AR) scene they like, the user can fly into the scene and experience it as an immersive virutal environment. In addition the book serves as a focus for collaboration. When several users look at the same book page they can see the AR image from their own viewpoint and when one flys into the virtual model, the other users see her as a virtual character in the scene."

Here is a last year's article by BBC.

The Rise of Remotely Social Television

PlasticBag.org publishes a paper on "Social Software for Set-Top Boxes". Quote: "Imagine a buddy-list on your television that you could bring onto your screen with the merest tap of a 'friends' key on your remote control. [...] The interface that would let you add and remove friends, and see what your friends are watching in real-time - whether they be watching live television or something stored on their PVRs. Adding friends would be simple - you could enter letters on screen using your remote, or browse your existing friends' contact lists."

Coincidentally, Business Week runs an article on Social TV being developed at PARC: "Being developed by scientists at the famed Palo Alto Research Center (PARC), credited with inventing the Ethernet and the laser printer, Social TV will allow geographically dispersed friends to chat and watch TV together."

And comments on Corante point at a similar ongoing research at Alcatel that is building AmigoTV and has published a paper (pdf)

Advertising on Desktops

BoolSite.com brings you some of the best branded wallpapers that ever graced a computer desktop. In a sense, a wallpaper is a lot like those ringtones with corporate tunes, that for some reason are sold for as much as $4 a pop.

Branded Gizmos: Pez to Dispense Music

"Pez Candy's best-known handheld device, the iconic Pez dispenser, is about to go digital. Under a recently granted licensing agreement with Pez Candy, a gadget design company known as Lincoln West Studios will soon begin selling MP3 players modeled after the big-headed plastic treat sleeves. The music players, which will come with ear bud-style headphones and a USB cable to connect with PCs, will sell for $129 apiece and be sold directly through Lincoln West's site."

It would be even cooler if those swappable craniums contained flash memory. Suddenly, the "I can't get that tune out of my head" line gets a whole new meaning.
--CNET via Agenda

DIY In-Game Branding

How to project your brand onto the millions of The Sims' players? Download The Sims Transmogrifier, create some really cool objects (like a KFC billboard or a Coke vending machine, only cooler), and put them up for grabs on one of those Sims exchange sites. Easy. Coming next: forehead advertising in online multiplayer games.

Advertising in War Zone

Advertising billboards crop up in Russia's war-torn Chechnya province. Photo by Grigory Tarasevich. More pictures here (text in Russian).

Town Criers and the Art of Voicevertising

So the big news on this otherwise slow day is the bit about a guy who put up on eBay a week's worth of shouting and about Halls Fruit Breezers who bought it. As one blogger aptly commented earlier, we are running out of body parts. Here's a page on the history of town criers (do you know what "stentorian" means?), and here's an Australian company that promotes "you and your business through a diverse selection of mediums from the Ancient and Honourable art of Town Crying to the limitless possibilities of Web Page Design." Quite a few town criers are available for your next promo gig: in Britain, in California, and worldwide. If you want to launch a town crying career of your own, do yourself good and buy this amazing, truly stentorian, Gigaphone.

Laser Billboards

If you need to brand an entire mountain, nothing works better than a laser installation. That's exactly what the guys at Image Engineering did - projected a Barbie logo onto Arizona's Camelback mountain (see the pic here, it's a bit too blurry). The photo above comes from another company that deals with advertising lasers and is appropriately called AdLaser. Also check out International Laser Productions, located in Bali.

World's Smallest and Largest Ads

World's smallest ad was commissioned by Guinness World Records for the launch of its site in 2000, was worn on the knee band of a bee and measured 100 x 100 microns. The previous title holder was an advert measuring 17mm by 12mm. It was a half-page ad in the world's smallest newspaper, an edition of Brazilian weekly Vossa Senhoria published in 1999 (source: BBC).

The largest advertising poster measured 274 m (898 ft 11 in) long, was made in 1998 by Saatchi & Saatchi to promote Pucini's Tosca and set up in Rome (view it here). The title is now being contested by Mazda, who unveiled a 1,020 ft-long poster in January.

A train traveling between cities in South African Guateng province is the world's largest moving billboard, measuring 268.25 m (880-ft 1-in). It was launched in 1998. This title is also disputed, by Qatar Airwaves that launched an aerial light show in South Africa's largest cities in January.

World's largest billboard appears to be the one at UK's Fort Dunlop. It was erected in 2002, weighed about two tons, and was 132 meters long and 23.7 meters high. The previous title holder, 300 meters long and 45 meters high, was built in China's Chongqing municipality in 1998. It was surrounded by fog the year around failing to attract a single advertiser and was set to be dismantled in 2002.

Finally, the largest neon advertising sign was made in Hong Kong in 1999 of 800,000 light bulbs.

Testing Google AdWords as Private Classifieds

I've been hearing about the long tail and the citizens media and how Craigslist is overtaking the classifieds biz, and kept wondering if Google AdWords could be used by regular people - as opposed to businesses - to advertise their own stuff, like the personals and job wanted ads in the papers. Well, I'm about to find out. As you probably have already noticed, I'm summer-job hunting, have put up a site and am now trying to get traffic through AdWords. The trickiest part is to come up with relevant words. Any ideas and feedback are welcome (especially if you think the idea is stupid); you can post your comments here. My other concern is whether I'll get a C&D from The Donald. If nothing else, I'll get a good paper out of the whole exercise.

Converting Bits Back Into Atoms

Of course, we all remember Nicholas Negroponte's "The change from atoms to bits is irrevocable and unstoppable" (Being Digital: book, article). Yet, lately I've seen a steadily increasing number of reports on how companies put their amorphous digital content into more tangible forms:

- "Magnatune, the online record label founded will launch TunePlug, a reusable USB flash drive that will come pre-loaded with complete MP3 albums from 10 Magnatune artists." - BoingBoing

- "LA-based band Sexohol is putting out their first album Enjoy! on iPod shuffles. The 12 tracks come pre-loaded on your choice of 512MB or 1GB players, for $109 and $159, respectively." - Engadget

- "The complete set of Rav Dovid Grossman's shiurim, as featured on DafYomi.org, is now available pre-loaded on a 20 gigabyte iPod." - Shashpods.com

- "Engadget reports it's seen a rise in use of USB thumb drives by marketers as delivery devises for promotional material." - AdRants

- "Welcome to the new video tape - the size of a stamp and as transferable as a lick." - PSFK

- "One library has come up with a novel way to get teens into libraries: put audiobooks onto iPod Shuffles." - Engadget

- "Spotted in Japan: vending machines that sell software, ebooks, and games for Palms and Pocket PCs" - earlier on Adverlab

Warner Brothers To Sponsor Podcasts

Warner Brothers will sponsor podcasts of the Eric Rice Show and provide exclusive audio content from one of its bands. Podcasting is the practice of publishing extended audio recordings in a Web feed format. The agreement calls for the label to give Rice exclusive interviews, banter and impromptu jams featuring "The Used" in what in fact becomes paid placement. The deal was brokered by Pheedo.com.
-- Clickz.com

Podcasting: Advertising on iPod
iPodvertising Possibilities

Keywords: iPod, advertising, podcasting, podvertising

Digital Film Distribution in Ireland

"Avica Technology is bringing the digital presentation systems to 515 screens throughout Ireland to run alongside traditional 35mm film projectors. Digital can reduce the cost of distribution, eliminating the need for costly reels of film that need to be printed, delivered, collected once the cinema is done showing the movie, and then destroyed. Besides offering moviegoers superior picture quality, the digital network may have a positive effect for the Irish filmmaking community. It will be cheaper to make small Irish films because the costs of making and distributing prints won't be factored in. There are about 40 screens in the U.S. that are using the digital projectors, but they aren't tethered to any sort of network."
--PCWorld via Engadget

Wireless Cinema Delivery

Creative "On Hold" Messages

First Impression makes answering machine and voice-mail messages. They explain, "In this fast paced business climate we thrive in, your hold button is frequently the first "person" your callers will meet." The cartoon above came from their site, click it to zoom in.

Some other companies that sell greetings: A1, Interactive Voices. I would rather give my VM a celebrity voice instead.

Advertising on Ringtones

Telephone Ads: Spit, Spim, Skam

Just as you installed spam filters and sat back to take a breath, new dangers started rearing their ugly heads. Meet spit, spim and skam.

Today's MediaPost writes: "One out of four students surveyed online reported receiving ads on their mobile phones, or spim. 68 percent of respondents who received wireless spam said they were less likely to purchase a product from businesses responsible for serving the unwanted ads. Fortunately for the advertisers responsible, only 5 percent of students receiving such spam could even recall the name of the business or product in question." Then, of course, there are multi-media messages (MMS) and location-based mobile ads, but the industry fights back.

On the other front, Engadget writes, "
We’re now starting to see the advent of spam in the Skype realm. James Enck has coined the term Skam to denote the reception of strange messages from total strangers."

As for "spit" - spam over Internet telephony in general - there's little agreement on what constitutes spam, writes eWeek.

"On one hand, you'll hear that U.S. consumers are about to feel an onslaught of tens of thousands of telemarketing calls from overseas call centers taking advantage of cheap calling, and using their location to avoid U.S. do-not-call regulations. On another, you'll hear that the real threat is more traditional spam aimed at VOIP systems, or perhaps denial of service attacks on these systems."

Anyway, here are two companies that offer voice broadcasting (that is, put ads on people's voice mails in bulk) - Protus and Campaign Leverage. I think they are cool, but then again, I love chatting to telemarketers. Speaking of which, here's a 1903 article in Western Electrician that explains how affluent households who could afford a telephone are tempting targets.

Japanese Read Novels on Cell Phones

"Tens of thousands of Japanese cell phone owners are poring over full-length novels on their tiny screens. Several mobile Web sites offer hundreds of novels -- classics, best sellers and some works written especially for the medium. Cell phone books are also gradually starting to get traction in China and South Korea. In Japan, though, some people are really getting hooked, finding the phone an intimate tool for reading."

New Genre: Mobi-Lit

Microsoft to Build In-Game Marketplace

"When Microsoft releases the new version of its Xbox video game console -- presumably this year -- it plans to include a storefront that will offer "microtransactions." Game publishers will have to cooperate by building access to a common storefront into their software."
--Reuters via Urban Intelligence

Do you see the inevitable rise of in-game ads, now that we have a common platform?

Player Protest Erupts in Game World
Product Placement Affects Gameplay
In-game Ads: Backlash, Research
Round Up: In-Game Ads
Nielsen to Audit Game Ads
Use Of In-Game Ads Grows
Unexplored: Deus Ex Machinima
Advertising in Video Games: Problems
(Social) Advertising in Computer Games
Future: Product Placement

Branded Cursors

"Online ads are so prevalent, advertisers are running out of room for them on Web sites. So they've found a new spot to park their ads: at the tip of your computer's cursor." - Investors Business Daily at Yahoo. Apparently, you can see one recent implementation by visiting the Lakers site that changes your cursor in McDonald's arches (doesn't work in Firefox, ha). The cursors are branded by Comet Systems; the company also runs a site where you can pick a piece of code to transform cursors on your website into, say, a can of Folgers. I remember being annoyed by these things around 1998; the article says the cursors now experience their second coming.

Interactive Print Through Structural Graphics

Structural Graphics take traditional flat print ads and bring them to life with 3d pop-up constructions, sound modules, lenticulars and light. They did the famous do-it-yourself magazine ad for MINI (above). They also did a Christmas insert for Smirnoff, complete with a pop-up bottle and blinking lights, a mailer with a pop-up yacht and the sound of the wind blowing on the background, and an origami series for Stolichnaya.

Sound Inserts in Print Ads
Musical Greeting Cards

Microsoft Almost Unveils AdCenter

The industry has been abuzz with the news of Microsoft's upcoming launch of a its own search ad service dubbed MSN adCenter to compete with Google's and Yahoo's. Here's their still half-baked site, and a report on the Wednesday's announcement.

Concept: Wag The Ad

"This ultra-bright LED attaches to Fido’s tail and uses that whole persistence of vision thing to display programmed messages," kinda like in this fan, giving a whole new meaning to the concept of dogvertising.
-- Augmented Animals via Engadget

Google's New Ad Format

Neat and cute Google text links you see in the right-hand column were made available to publishers on Thursday. I only get paid if you click on the stuff behind these links.

Google Tests Advertising on Demand

Advertising in Books

I just came across an older (back from 2003) post by Jason Kottke who had a horrible thought on including ads in books to drive the prices down. Here is a Russian publishing house (the page is in English) that lets you place ads in their books, mostly on geeky topics. Listen to the pitch: "The book is used for years. Because of it advertisement placed in the book is long-term and highly effective kind of advertisement. We invite you to place your advertising media in our books." And these Ukranian guys (site in Russian) who publish self-help books and Idiot's guides, also accept ads, in color for front and back covers, and in b/w for inside pages. Prices vary between $400 to $1600 for a full page ad.

In the States, STARbooks say they place ads in erotic literature. And here's a wonderful Museum of Comic Book Advertising.

Flashback: Webphones

Once upon a time, long before Skype, when a spellchecker would insist on replacing VoIP with "void" and cell phones were the size of a brick, there was a company called Cidco that created a home phone with a browser and called it iPhone. Some got excited, others hated it. It was a cool idea, though. Imagine how much easier it would be to set up your voicemail, do call-forwarding and - gasp - navigate the airline ticket-reservation systems. Would work well for getting ads and coupons from the local stores. Looks like you still can get one of those in New Zealand. And here Jacob Nielsen discusses usability issues around data phones (1997).

Rickshaw Advertising

"Due to its futuristic design, the PromoGroup's (London) Metrobike is unmistakable in urban areas. It can either be fitted with highly visible posters or, for the ultimate effect, can be ‘wrapped’ so that the entire vehicle carries the sponsor’s corporate colours, logo and message."

Some other cool rickshaw companies are Orient Express and Manhattan Rickshaw, featured in one of the Apprentice episodes.

Talking Packaging

Remember Alice in Wonderland and all those talking cakes and potion containers? MedivoxRx has developed Rex The (disposable) Talking Bottle that plays back medication dosage information to visually impaired patients. The message is either pre-recorded by the pharmacists as they type in label info, or by patients themselves through a Rex Starter Kit that includes a special recorder. The kit sells for about $70 (here) and includes three bottles and the recorder.
-- Engadget, Medgadget

Here's how it works:
"Microelectronic technology is embedded in the base of each bottle. A special bottle recorder microphone allows the user to record the medication use information directly into the bottle. The “built-in-the-bottle” technology permits only the user to record or change the prescription information. To playback the recorded information, users simply press a button on the side of the bottle and listen to the message."

I can totally imagine my Pringles coming in a container that tells jokes and reminds me that I'm about to run out of my supplies. Brilliant. Also, while we are at it, check this report on patterns in packaging design. And Clegg POP is one of the companies that make general-purpose product packaging that moans, talks and sings.

More talking stuff:
Sound Inserts in Print Ads
Musical Greeting Cards (how they work, and more)

Feedback to Print Ads Through Camera Phones

"ELLEgirl's readers will be able to use their camera phones to take photos of ads they're interested in, send in the photos to Mobot, and receive back promotions or information, such as locations where the products are sold, coupons, or free sample offers."

Mobot says it "has developed a powerful, scalable, and flexible patent-pending solution which relies on image recovery, pattern recognition, and image matching capability ‘in the cloud.’ Mobot is pioneering the use of the mobile camera as a pointing device for the real world."

"Other Advertising" Focuses on Alternative Ad Media

"By covering categories such as out-of-home, captive audience, place-based, transit, peer-to-peer, in-store, mobile technology and guerrilla, Other Advertising focuses on what the Universal McCann Report identifies as over 15% of the total advertising dollars spent in 2003." To be launched by AdWeek next Monday.

Also consider:
PROMO Magazine

Engadget Enables User Comments on Ads

Engadget has launched Focus Ads that allow visitors comment on selected ads displayed on the site. The pic above is an ad by Light Scribe, discussed here.
--via AdRants

Google Tests Advertising on Demand

Commentary: Redefining Mobile Entertainment

"Handheld devices, in particular, have trouble holding our attention in quite the same way as IMAX screens and immersive environments, but they weren't really meant to. I mean, how long can you stare at your watch? And even though a Gameboy can hook a 14-year-old into its Liliputian reality for hours at a time, and an iPod can envelop us (via earplugs) in its musical swirl, is the "entertainment" model of captivation appropriate for wireless mobile devices? I don't think so.

A playful mobile device need not entrap its owner within its own RAM. Rather, it can connect the owner with other people, the environment, or the temporal reality in new ways. Who is available? What is around me? What's going on right now? Instead of enter-taining, these devices might do better to inter-tain us -- that is, hold our connection to other people, places and things. "
--Douglas Rushkoff

Concept: Camera With Projector

"There may be a future for small camera phones that project images instead of showing them on a screen. Why carry around a display when you can project it onto a wall or page?" thinks Sony Ericcson's chief designer.

Related posts:
Future: Personal Video Projectors
Advertising on Floors
Concept: Media Cartridge Projector

Commentary: DVD Menu Interface User-Unfriendly

"Designers of DVDs have failed to profit from the lessons of previous media: Computer Software, Internet web pages, and even WAP phones. As a result, the DVD menu structure is getting more and more baroque, less and less usable, less pleasurable, less effective. It is time to take DVD design as seriously as we do web design."
--Don Norman

Sharp Introduces New Stereoscopic 3D Laptop

Sharp introduced its new Actius AL3DU laptop that makes it possible to view stereoscopic 3D images without special glasses, an upgrade from an earlier Actius RD3D. The new laptop sells for $3,499. Read more about Sharp's 3d technology.

Stereoscopic Advertising, Part I
Stereoscopic Advertising, Part II

Advertising on Gum Wrappers

A Turkish company Kent makes Turbo bubble gum with car pics on the wrappers. What you see above is the first item in a series, which I have been trying to find for the past 15 years. The most recent series shows off much newer cars, of course.

Advertising on Candy

Put your logo on hard rock candy. Sold in bulk, packaged in bags, containers and jars. Starts at $7.25 per pound + $40 set-up fee; 10 days turnaround time. Available at CASAD. Sweet.

More ads on food:
Advertising With Alphabet Soup
Your Brand Is Toast
Branding Food With Laser Cutter
New Media: Holopops?
Branding Food

Commentary: The Mistake of Convergence

"It is very rare indeed that users want everything combined in a single device. It is much more often the case that the reverse holds true: users want things separated and simpler, not combined and more complex.

Historically, there has not been evidence that communications channels gradually converge. Indeed quite the reverse: there are now more means of communicating than ever.

If one follows this argument through, one is left with a vision in which there is an infinite number of channels of communication. Does this sound plausible? In its exaggerated form clearly not; there must be some kind of threshold beyond which users are not willing to go."

-- from an article by Richard Harper, senior scientist at Microsoft.

Update: Foldable Displays In Two Years

"Philips Polymer Vision has announced more progress in the area of rollable displays for the mobile-device industry. The company says that current process and yield improvements will enable production within two years.

Rollable displays are projected to be the primary solution to the demand for larger displays in mobile devices, without increasing device size, weight, or power consumption. The company sees rollable displays being used for smooth, paperlike viewing in all sorts of data-centric mobile applications, such as text, agendas, e-mail, electronic maps, and multiple-data information services. " -- GeekZone

Previous posts:
Future: MicroMedia Paper
E Ink: Digital Price Tags
E Ink: Digital POP Display
E Ink: Digital Billboards

Advertising (in) Space for Sale

Launch your giant (up to 90 x 90 x 90 ft) inflatable billboard or logo into orbit with Russian Aerospace Systems. The company says (in Russian) that the service will be available as soon as October 2005. The objects will be seen from Earth as bright stars, with logos clearly discernable through amateur telescopes. They also say the project is licensed by the Russian Space Agency.

In October of 1999, Pizza Hut has made a deal with the Russian Space Agency and Russian aerospace companies to have a 30ft tall company logo placed on the 200ft tall Proton rocket, at a price of $1 million. Here's the news and a pic. "This is one small step for mankind, but a giant leap for our Pizza Hut turnaround," said Pizza Hut in a press release at the time.

More on space advertising from back issues of Media Life Magazine, some assorted historical tidbits, and a brief history of space marketing from Space.com.

Tools: Epidiascope

A very useful but somehow neglected tool, epidiascope is a projector for use with opaque as well as translucent objects. Put a book, a sheet of paper, a picture or a small 3d object on the scanner-like top, and see the large image on the wall. This particular Braun Paxiscope XL Epidiascope goes for about $400.

Pictures in Teletext

Teletext is defined as a "one-way information retrieval service in which printed text is broadcast by television signal on unused portions of a TV channel bandwidth to sets equipped with decoders."

Printed text, right? Here's a QuickTime movie with a whole bunch of pics done with ASCII symbols. Rated PG13.

Flashback: Moving Images on Audio Tapes

On Thursday, my department hosted Gerry Fialka, a curator of the PXL THIS film fest, devoted to shorts filmed with PXL-2000 camera, also known as Pixelvision. PXL-2000 was a video camera designed by James Wickstead and made by Fisher-Price in the late 1980's as a children's toy. PXL-2000 records audio and video on ordinary type audio cassette tapes, fitting about 5 minutes per side on a 90 minute tape. The overall effect is black and white, grainy, with a weird, almost slow-motion apperance.

Related post:
Video, Data on Vinyl Disks

Future Now: Wrist Video

So, it took us 40+ years to come from Dick Tracy's imaginary wrist radio to Israeli Army's very real wrist video, developed by Tadiran Spectralink. The screens display video shot by unmanned airplanes. "We are fulfilling the science fiction movies that we see," said Itzhak Beni, chief executive of the Elisra Group's Tadiran Electronic Systems and Tadiran Spectralink companies.
-- Associated Press via Engadget

Who's Killing Whom

Who's Killing Radio
"Not long ago, the radio industry was enjoying something of a renaissance.
Now, Stern is bolting for satellite, the Federal Communications Commission is cracking down on radio content, and everything from the Internet to iPods is threatening to steal its audience. A reputation for too many commercial interruptions and stale programming are among radio's chief problems. Advertisers are steadily moving money historically spent on radio into cable TV. But the Internet and new technologies like digital music players are potentially more dangerous."
--Chicago Tribune

Who's Killing Television
"I love television as a marketing medium – pure and simple. It has sight, sound and motion. It has terrific reach, great entertainment value and a captive audience. But we’re killing the damn thing – and here are the culprits: cost, clutter, measurement and (lack of) creative."
--Bob Liodice of Association of National Advertisers

Who's Killing TiVo
"It's always hard to write an obituary, especially when the subject is still alive. It's especially hard for me, because I love the little guy like a brother. But, alas, TiVo will die. A convergence of three separate trends is conspiring to kill off TiVo: Moore's Law, HDTV, and DirecTV".
--PC Mag (March 04)

More media deaths.
Endangered gizmos.

More Advertising Robots

A Japanese firm Flower Robotics has developed a mannequin robot that can strike a pose for customers - and spy on who they are and what they're buying.

"Mannequins have been static but this will pose for the nearest person by sensing his or her position," robot designer Tatsuya Matsui told a news conference. The robot would be able to judge the age and sex of shoppers and even identify the bags they are carrying and pass along the information to stores for marketing purposes.

Previous posts:
Advertising Robots, Part III
Advertising Robots, Part II
Advertising Robots